Electrokinetics and soil decontamination: concepts and overview (Review)

  • Mohammed A. Karim Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU), 1100 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta, Georgia 30060


Electrokinetic decontamination and extraction have been proven to be one of the most viable, cost effective and emerging techniques in removing contaminants, especially heavy metals from soils for about last five decades. Basic concepts and an overview of the electrokinetic extraction processes and their potential applications in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering have been reviewed based on the literature and presented in this paper. Primarily, theoretical and laboratory experimental studies related to electroreclamation of soils are summarised in brief with basic concepts of electrokinetic processes. The paper has been divided into different sections that include history of electrokinetics, background and concepts, modelling, parameter effects, instrumentation, contaminant extraction, field applications, and summary and recommendation. Based on the review it is obvious that the field application of electrokinetic technology to remediate heavy metal contaminated soils /sediments is very limited and site specific. Additional laboratory studies and more pilot- and full-scale information from field applications are critical to the further understanding of the technology and to customize the process in different field conditions.

Electrochemical Engineering